A fresh coat of paint can improve the look of your home, but beyond the paint, which home improvements are really worth the effort and expense? There are differences of opinion depending on who you ask and where you’re located. Rather than relying on opinion, there is a more factual method of evaluating the improvements. If you consider the cost of the improvement versus the resale value, you can measure the actual percent return on your investment.

Here are the top five remodeling projects with the highest return on investment. Remember to evaluate these against necessity based on your personal circumstance. For instance if your windows are really old and no longer keeping out the cold, then new windows may actually hold more value – savings realized on your utility bill and beyond.

Top Five:

  • Attic Insulation (up to 117% return) – involves sealing off any air leaks and using fiberglass loose fill insulation
  • Manufactured Stone Veneer (up to 92.9% return) – replacing the bottom 1/3 of the exterior vinyl siding
  • Garage Door Replacement (up to 91.5% return) – based on a new four-section door on steel tracks
  • Entry Door Replacement (up to 91.1% return) – steel door with half glass panel (steel has a higher return than fiberglass)
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel (up to 83.1% return) – assuming the cabinet boxes stay in place with new fronts, drawers, hardware, countertop, oven and faucet (approximate cost of $20,000)

Other improvements to consider:

An easy place to increase the value and curb appeal of your home is your landscaping. First impressions are often lasting ones. Make sure trees are neat and shrubs are trimmed – you don’t need to spend a ton of money to create a welcoming look. If you don’t have a lot of time for flowers, look for low maintenance options with a little color. Hanging baskets or planters are great alternatives to standard flower beds.

Kitchens are still really important when assessing your home’s overall value. You can make improvements to your kitchen without spending $20,000. Painting the cabinets and installing new hardware are relatively easy options. With a reasonable budget ($5,000) you can also update your appliances (stainless steel is still the first choice) and your countertop (quartz is durable and attractive). When you buy appliances as a package deal you can get substantial discounts. Remember to look at energy efficient models.

If you choose technology upgrades, make them smart upgrades. For instance, programmable thermostats are very common, but there are versions that you can remotely control with your phone through an easy user interface. Some thermostats have the ability to learn from your habits and make temperature adjustments accordingly. 

If you are considering a home improvement project, learn about Marquette Bank’s Home Equity options to help finance your project.

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